Whoever complained that the wheels of justice move slowly would have enjoyed this week’s trial of Robert Joos Jr. A federal jury in Springfield, Mo., needed nine minutes to convict the reputed antigovernment white supremacist on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and a felon in possession of explosives.
Joos, 56, was indicted in June along with twin brothers Dennis and Daniel Mahon. The Mahons remain in jail and are charged with mailing a bomb in 2004 to the Scottsdale, Ariz., office of Don Logan, who at the time was that city’s diversity officer. Dennis Mahon is a former Klansman and skinhead recruiter. His lower profile brother also is a former Klansman. Both were involved with longtime racist Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance, or WAR. Logan, who is black, needed extensive surgery for injuries to his hands and arms. His secretary suffered injuries to her face and eyes.
The indictment alleges that the Mahons mailed the bomb to Logan’s office in order to “promote racial discord” on behalf of WAR. Joos was not charged in connection with the bombing. Authorities say Joos came to their attention through phone records showing the first telephone call Dennis Mahon made the morning of the bombing was to a cell phone in Joos’ name.
Joos is a pastor of the Sacerdotal Order of David Company. He testified today that he and fellow church members are “apocalyptic Christians” who believe “this whole thing is going to collapse.”
His indictment followed an undercover investigation of him at his 200-acre spread in rural McDonald County, Mo. One of the Mahons described Joos “as a longtime white supremacist associate and expert on weapons, explosives, bomb making and general survival skills,” according to a sworn affidavit by a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. The brothers allegedly said that Joos’ property was used as a training facility for white supremacists.
Joos has a prior felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon. ATF undercover agent Tristan Moreland testified that Joos took him to at least 20 caves on his property that he said would serve as hideouts in case of attack. He did not show his own personal cave that he said contained his stockpile of weapons, the agent said.
In all, 15 firearms, most of them long hunting rifles and shotguns, were confiscated on Joos’ property. Also taken were more than 19,000 ammunition rounds and bomb-making parts such as fuses and blasting caps. Joos denied the firearms were his.